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Would Burke Be Proud of America?

November 9, 2010

Edmund Burke was a man that had views that were tied to tradition and keeping the mass populace educated. Through these views I have a video that may disturb not just Edmund Burke but most people who live in the great United States. In the video people are portrayed to be uneducated as they represent our nation as a whole. As many of the people seem like ordinary citizens, the question raised is that are most American people this oblivious?

The video is almost unbearable to watch as the people fail to answer the simplest of questions that deal with the tradition and honor of our nation. In the eyes of Burke, how could these people who seem uneducated be able to make rational decisions that effect the nation’s government. It is evident that Edmund Burke would not be happy with the fact that anyone is able to have a say in government issues. The government is not to blame for the nation’s education but the people are to blame for the downfalls and hardships which have been associated with the government. With this in mind Burke’s ways of a functional government may not be applicable to that of today’s society as everyone (those who pay taxes) has the right to vote and have a say in government whether they be intellectual or uneducated.

Obviously the United States is able to keep growing and improving to remain as a role model for other countries, but what will hinder the growth of the nation? Burke would without a doubt say that the uneducated people shown in the video will deeply hurt the way our government runs today. There is definitely a loss of tradition in the pride of our nation as the country is brought down by people who do not understand issues that are greatly intertwined with our government today.

America is known as a country of great tradition and moral values. Throughout the videos it seems as if people have lost connection with the values that brought our country together to become a free and equal union. The people make fun and obviously have racist remarks for other countries that seem to have certain groups of people who have intentions to harm people. The United States was formed so that all people could be treated equally and respected by all. It is obvious that Burke would not be pleased to see that the morals that he once praised are no longer kept by the mass amount of people portrayed as Americans in this video. Is it impossible for a nation as a whole to have the same ideas and traditions that are greatly admired by Edmund Burke? After watching this video Burke’s form of government seems outdated as times have greatly changed since the Revolution in France.

  1. erikamir permalink
    November 9, 2010 8:01 PM

    First things first, I love the video posted here. It is sad when so many Americans didn’t know the answers to questions like ” how many Eiffel Towers are there?” or “how many kidneys do we have?” I am not so sure that I would call the stupid answers to the questions a lost of traditions but more so just pure disrespect and ignorance.

  2. Jessie Altman permalink
    November 9, 2010 8:18 PM

    As my roommates and I gathered around my computer to watch that video we were in disbelief. It is shocking how people in America do not know even the basics on the questions asked. What is even more frightening is that these people vote for representatives to run our country. If they don’t know the basic about our history how much can they possibly know about current events. This could hinder our countries progress if a majority of people don’t realize to take people out of office or to vote for someone to take office. I think that America needs to move more closely towards Burke’s ideas about tradition and education.

  3. November 9, 2010 11:30 PM

    I applaud this post. Watching that video made me honestly think about how much of the percentage of voters that vote in the elections are this uneducated. My initial reaction is that the video is trying to make a point, and therefore it is bias. But the fact that there are amounts of people who are that uneducated honestly makes me second guess how much tradition actually plays a part in society today. From the looks of it, the right to vote has been watered down significantly over the past centuries to the point where it is more of a chore. The fact that so many people don’t find it necessary to stay updated in current events and the politics of its country is shameful, and would not be appeasing to Burke.

  4. rakermeg permalink
    November 10, 2010 1:06 AM

    May I start by saying sorry if this is long or sounds like a rant.
    I do find it sad that the masses can truly appear this dumb. I have to stand up for America just a little bit. The video is edited, they may have interviewed thousands of people but they only show the dumb ones. They want to make a point and are going to edit out the people who know the answers to their questions. The point was that the unintelligent masses are voting but is that really true? In the midterm elections, less than 45% of Michigan’s registered voters actually voted. Well who says that the people they asked questions to were registered voters? The people may be uninformed about the world and about simple things but there is no proof that these people are causing havoc in elections with their lack of political knowledge. Sure, it is awful that we have citizens who don’t know anything about the world around them but ignorance and stupidity are not crimes.
    You say Burke would feel that the uneducated are ruining our government. I agree with that, but I feel that Burke would wonder why the masses are involved at all. There were people just as uneducated in his days. There was a lack of video cameras to prove their lack of intelligence.
    Consider a smaller setting. Universities across the country are filled with educated, eligible voters. The University of Michigan has over 40,000 students currently enrolled. It also has the largest group of alumni in the United States topping out at 425,000 living alumni. These are some of the brightest minds in the world and I’m guessing that a large majority of them are registered voters. This is one university out of thousands. There may be a lot of clueless citizens in our country but we also have a lot of well informed ones. Who is to say that the masses are truly as clueless as television reporters and so called journalists make them appear to be? I am not saying that it is okay that there are so many uninformed citizens but they are not the only citizens.
    To say that America was formed on Tradition is true. America sadly does not have a tradition of freedom or equality. America has a tradition of fighting. Fighting to get away from this country and that, and fighting to get this or that. America being free and equal is funny. In comparison to some other countries, yes, we have both freedom and equality. We don’t though. No one is equal when put in your minds. There is something about you, that makes you think you are better or lower than someone else. It could be your job, where you grew up, what your parents do, what you look like, the car you drive, the phone you text on, the school you go to, or the color of your skin. It divides people. People may keep it to themselves but people still think it. People aren’t free, not truly. A lot of people are trapped by circumstance in lives they hate. The government watches, their friends watch, their neighbors watch, their parents watch. People are constantly doing what is expected of them because they have to think about all the people who are watching and judging them. We have a tradition in America of trying to change what we don’t like about our society and striving for something more. We have kept with that tradition and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but we don’t have a tradition of freedom and equality. Those are the things being strived for.

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